School Visit and Beach Clean-up in Cocos Keeling–Day 11


Current Position 08:00 UTC +6.5
Speed over Ground 0.0 Knots
Course over Ground   Degrees
Heading   Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 12 05.4019
Longitude East 096 52.9931

Image of the Day:


The town on Home Island in the Shire of Cocos Keeling, Australia


Beach Clean-up with other boaters – we collected plastic garbage from the ocean side of the island and then wrote “No Plastics” with the garbage.  4 teams of 3-4 players – judged on how quickly they could gather a large garbage bag full of plastic – sadly, this took less than 5 minutes – then on their artistic expression in saying “no plastics”


Shortly after breakfast, Dario and I headed over to “Home Island” with Vigar and Lizbeth who were kind enough to shuttle us over there in their dingy – dingy with a 4-hp engine that is as we’ve only got a human powered one on board… 

Given that the population of Cocos is primarily of Malaysian decent and Muslim, most places were closed given the EID holiday. However school was in session, the internet café was open as was the local supper market – with avocados at $5 a pop! 

IMG_5452They dropped me off at the internet café to make the updates to the expedition log as well as my own correspondences.

It kind of makes one proud to be a Microsoft employee to find that they are running Windows 7 Professional in the Internet Café on an atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean with less than a 100o inhabitants!

Dario and the others headed off to the school for an impromptu session with the local school kids while I wrestled with the not so fast internet and upload woes….

Finding them later at the school we finished up there – really nice folks working the school – all surfers, of course and very environmentally turned on.  The school has actually won awards on their environment work and awareness raising of the rising sea level impacting the islands.

back at the boat we had a quick peanut butter and honey sandwich and then Dario and I cleaned Pachamama’s bottom and unblocked some of the barnacle encrusted seacocks so as to increase our speed, reactivate the water maker and as a kicker clear the transducer for speed through the water measurements.

At 4pm we gathered on the beach with other folks from the anchorage to do the clean-up mentioned above.


The winning design with NO Plastic written out in 4 different languages!  Following the competition we collect all our combined garbage, dug a big hole and buried the plastic deep under the sand.

Though symbolic at best, this clean up connect about 20 people in a group effort where we all took part in taking care of our planet and leaving the place we were in in a better state than we had found it.  Many of the participants were children and adolescences and all were actively engaged.  I was very impressed with how successfully Dario pulled this off and how good the connection was with all these perfect strangers.  Every little bit helps and every little bit counts.


Being on land again was interesting and a bit chaotic and full of different tensions and pressures.  I was reminded of the time I worked for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) on the R/V Knorr and how rough the port stops could be.  Sailors don’t fight openly at sea, though definitely settle their scores in port.  I tended to break away from the group and ensure that I was no where near anyone from the trips on the first night in port.  Conditions here are different, though the tension of being with others, different desires and tensions made it for a good through bumpy at times stop.